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Proposed Tax Break Could Reduce Veteran Unemployment Rate

The proposal would give businesses up to $1,500 for hiring veterans.

Arthur Ferguson, who served eight years in the military, has been tirelessly searching for work since his discharge in 2012.  
Last week, he received an eviction notice.
Ferguson’s story is not uncommon. Unemployment and homelessness among veterans is a widespread issue, and in response, local officials are looking to kickstart a pilot program that could help some veterans.  
The Los Angeles City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee met Monday to propose a Pilot Veteran Business Tax Rebate Program to the Office of Finance. In a speech prepared for delivery, Councilmember Bernard Parks said the program would provide businesses with a tax credit of up to $1,500 for every local veteran they hire, with a maximum of $20,000 per business. 
Currently, a similar program, The Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, limits the credit to $9,600.
He said this program is intended to give businesses an incentive to help L.A. veterans get on their feet upon coming out of service.
Ferguson, father of two, attributes the difficulty of his job hunt to his lack of a college degree. “It’s easy to find a McDonald’s job. But when you have two kids and you have a family, an eight-dollar an hour job is not going to help you with rent,” he said. “No one is going to hire a veteran just because they came out of service.”
Fergusonsaid he hopes program would greatly benefit veterans by helping to smooth the transition from life in combat to life at home. For now, he is focused on finishing school so that he can pursue a career in social work.
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